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Spyware and Adware
Help and Tips

What is spyware and adware, how can they infect and damage your machine, how can they be removed, and how can you prevent these threats from occurring?


#1: Complement your Antivirus Software with ThreatFire Free
ThreatFire Free can complement your antivirus software with other types of protection.

#2: VirSCAN.org Multiple Engine Virus Scanner
Scan a file for malware with a multitude of different anti-virus and anti-spyware engines.

#3: Multi-Engine Malware Scanner from Jotti
Use a variety of engines to help determine if an uploaded file contains a virus, spyware, or other malware.

#4: Scan Files for Malware with Multiple Engines
Use dozens of tools simultaneously to scan files for viruses and other malware.

#5: Never Trust a Public Computer with Private Information
Be careful before you access private information in a public computer setting! Spyware and keyloggers may be present.

#6: Use at Least Two Removal Tools
Why using just one spyware removal tool is not enough to help prevent against infections.

#7: Talk to Your Kids and Others Sharing Your Machine About Spyware
If others share your computer, make sure they know about the potential problems that can occur when downloading software.

#8: Visit the Anti-Spyware Coalition
View the home page of a coalition dedicated to getting the word out about spyware and malware.

#9: Delete Icons to Websites Appearing on Your Desktop
Remove icons to adult and spyware-supported websites from your desktop, and help prevent them from appearing in the first place.

#10: Are Cookies Spyware?
How problematic are cookies, really? Do they spread viruses? Do cookies crash your machine?

#11: Be Careful Running Two Background Guards Simultaneously
Two background anti-spyware guards can protect against more threats, but they can also show many more popup alerts.

#12: What is a Keylogger and how can it Violate My Privacy?
Help protect your privacy by learning what a keylogger is and how it can grab sensitive information without your knowledge.

#13: Use a Firewall to Help Protect Yourself
Updated firewalls can help protect you from spyware and adware.

#14: Consider Using Mozilla Firefox Instead of Internet Explorer
Consider switching web browsers to help prevent against spyware and adware infection.

#15: What is a DoS (Denial of Service) Attack?
How can your computer be hacked and turned into a tool to damage other machine via Denial of Service attacks?

#16: Home Page or Search Page Changed? Scan your Machine!
If your browser home page or search page has mysteriously changed, it's time to check your machine for spyware.

#17: What is Spyware and Adware?
Spyware and Adware defined. What it is and how it can adversely affect your computer.

#18: Surf in a Virtual Browser
For enhanced protection when browsing the web, surf in a web browser inside a virtual machine.

#19: Keep Your Software Updated to Help Protect Yourself
Anti-malware products must be updated constantly due to new threats.

#20: What is a Drive-By Download?
Drive-by downloads defined. How these can harm your privacy and security.

#21: Peer-To-Peer Software and Adware
Downloading peer-to-peer file transfer software may introduce adware onto your machine.

#22: Use Safe Mode Before Scanning if Infection is Suspected
Use the Windows "Safe Mode" feature when running spyware scans and removals to prevent potential problems.

#23: Is all Advertising-Supported Software Spyware and Malicious?
Are all freeware programs supported by advertisements spying on your every move?

#24: Why Does Adware Crash My Machine?
Why does adware crash your system when its goal is to deliver advertisements you will view?

#25: What is a Dialer?
Dialers (dialing software) defined. Some are legitimate yet others may cause expensive problems.

#26: Anti-Spyware Web Sites May Get Disabled
Unable to download anti-spyware applications? This tip may help.

#27: Another Reason to Backup Your Machine
If a spyware attack forces you to re-format your machine, don't lose access to your critical files.

#28: What is a Remote Access Trojan / Backdoor Software?
Remote access Trojan Horses and backdoor software defined. This can compromise your privacy and system stability.

#29: Upgrade to Service Pack 2 if Running Windows XP
Windows XP Service Pack 2 can help protect your machine from getting hit with certain types of spyware.

#30: Antivirus Software Is Not Enough - Install Removal Tools
Antivirus software alone will not prevent you from getting infected by spyware and adware.

#31: What are Startup Entries and Can They be Spyware?
Windows startup entries defined, and whether or not they are malicious.

#32: Always read the EULA When Installing Software From Unknown Websites
Downloading new freeware? Read the EULA to help ensure it won't install spyware and adware.

#33: Clear Your Hosts File to Help Prevent Web Page Redirection
Help keep accesses to web sites being redirected unintentionally; clear your Hosts file.

#34: False Alarms Occur
Anti-spyware software is not perfect. Always review found entries before removing them or unintended consequences may occur!

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About MalekTips and the Author

The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by Andrew Malek of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language. MalekTips also provides information and links to public-domain, open source, freeware, shareware, and commercial software available for download.